yearbook

The first-place-winning spread from Lenski Elementary School's 2020-21 yearbook, showing students celebrating Valentine's Day with their pets in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Lenski Elementary School in Centennial has been named the first-place winner of the TreeRing Memories Matter Challenge, a national yearbook spread competition.

TreeRing, a California-based company providing digital printing and customization for K-12 school yearbooks, created the competition to encourage yearbook staffs to showcase the uniqueness of the 2020-21 school year in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Preserving our children’s memories is so important and this year it was even more so from a journalistic standpoint,” said Kristina Cruz with TreeRing. “Given the various COVID safety protocols in schools, parent volunteer’s and teacher’s work was made even more challenging.”

Lenski’s winning yearbook spread showcased students celebrating Valentine’s Day with their pets, as they were not able to celebrate in-person with their classmates this year.

During remote learning in February, Lenski students exchanged the photos of themselves with their pets from the spread, in lieu of handing out Valentine’s Day cards.

“Their yearbook spread was not only beautifully designed but did a great job representing the uniqueness of how their community decided to celebrate Valentine’s Day,” TreeRing’s announcement said. “What other year would our pets make the yearbook?”

For winning first place, Lenski received a $100 Amazon gift card, 10 free yearbooks and an art block of their award-winning spread to be displayed in the school.

Second place went to Del Norte Heights Elementary in El Paso, Texas. Plumas Charter School in Quincy, California and Pelham High School in Pelham, New Hampshire tied for third place.

Nearly four dozen other elementary, middle and high schools from around the country also received honorable mentions for their yearbook spread submissions.

Lenski Elementary School is a public school within the Littleton Public Schools district, serving students in kindergarten through fifth grade. Lenski was designated as a Blue Ribbon School of Excellence by the U.S. Department of Education in 2013 and 2019.